Focus is a “commodity” that attracts each and every one of us. We all require a bit of focus every day but remain unsuccessful because it feels like a lot of work to do. Then again, there is the usual possibility of getting distracted. This is why “focusing” actually feels like a daunting task.
Whether we try to concentrate on work or switch off all of our devices, the focus has apparently become Big Foot that we can’t find in our daily lives.
It may seem that way but if you really want to turn your life around, research has shown that people who tend to focus on their tasks with a bit of dedication in their approach, tend to perform a lot better in all types of work/life challenges.
Whereas, if they give in to distractions every chance they get, they tend to perform quite poorly.
One thing that we don’t realize is that the main problem is not that we are always distracted, the real problem is that we don’t know how to focus. But on a positive note, the author of “Hack Your Brain” Elie Venezky says:
“Focus is a muscle, and you can build it. Too many people labor under the idea that they’re just not focused, and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once you drop this mistaken belief, you can take a much more realistic approach to build focus.”
So how can you possibly build your attention span and learn how to focus on things that are important in your day rather than wasting time on menial distractions?
Well, it starts with appreciating the immense power of focus and how creating the right type of environment around you can make all the difference in the world.
How to Increase Your Attention Span in the Modern Workplace?
You have to start with the absolute basics when it comes to this. Why? Because for most of the people out there, learning how to focus can come from various motivations throughout their day. They can be:
- Learning a new skill that can help them build a better product resulting in them outworking the competition in the market
- Being more productive and feeling good about the goals they achieved, at the end of the day
- Trying to shield their attention span from the never-ending distractions ever-present in the modern workplace
Everyone has their own reasons but it’s still safe to say that the more focusses people get more work done in less time than other people. Based on this premise, you can say that focus is key when it comes to productivity. Srinivas Rao is a famous author who said in an interview:
“What matters more than the length of time you put into a thing is actually the intensity of focus. Because if you have an intensity of focus you can actually reduce the amount of time spent doing it to get the same or better results.”
A recent study shows that people who work in technical fields can only focus on a specific task or activity for a little over 11 minutes before they are distracted by something around them. What’s worse is that the lost focus doesn’t just snap back into place, it takes around 25 minutes.
Let us now take a look at the 4 essential elements of focus you need to increase your attention span in the modern workplace.
4 Elements of Focus
If you want to really make a change in your life and be more focused, you will have to do a lot more than just make up your mind to pay attention. Focus is as much about what you’re focusing on as what you’re leaving out.
To build our attention span from virtually zero and learn how to efficiently focus, here are 4 essential elements that can help your life.
1. Take Control over the Technology around You
It’s 2020 and there is no escaping the countless devices all around you wherever you go. There are millions and millions of different applications on our devices that contain all of the knowledge of the world. Ironically, all of that information has destroyed our attention span and now we don’t have the focus and the time to learn anything.
As hard as it seems, you still can try and take complete control of your devices so that they don’t bother you as much. It takes time and you’ll have to put in some effort but there are a lot of different modes that are designed to keep those devices buzz-free.
One other important thing to remember is that you can only silence these devices and sometimes that doesn’t work either because when your eyes see them, your attention might divert, and you would start using them. Keep the devices out of sight whenever possible to avoid any slips.
2. Turn Your Environment Focus Friendly
Your work environment plays a very important role when it comes to focusing. You should put a pin in that before you do anything else on the list.
Start by organizing your desk as much as you can. Get rid of anything that you don’t use daily like old sticky notes and office memos that you no longer need. If you’re in a creative field, then you’re probably allergic to all of the noises around the office. You can use noise-cancellation headphones to block that.
Also, you can make separate sections for your stuff all over the desk. Keep the most essential items at an arm’s length such as food or drinks. This will help you stay focused even when you have to eat an apple or drink water and it’s at arm’s length, so you don’t have to take your eyes off of your screen.
3. Say No to Multitasking
If you have been living under a rock for some time, then you won’t know that multi-tasking is a myth. Why? Because whenever we try to do multiple tasks at once, we generally go back and forth between them which ends up ruining our productivity, making us more stressed.
Even worse, studies have shown that the more you make your brain look for things to do, the more your brain will get stressed out triggering a defense mechanism that would dull your mind further and you won’t be able to focus on anything.
Single Tasking, on the other hand, makes you stress-free and even makes you increasingly creative.
4. Take Your Eyes off the Computer Screen More Often
A real break means that you need to give your eyes some rest and that will only happen when you would let them see literally anything other than a screen. So, that’s it for today. In case you have some personal tips to share when it comes to concentrating and focusing, feel free to use the comments section below. Good luck out there!